Providing Student News to Old Dominion University Since 1930

Mace & Crown

Providing Student News to Old Dominion University Since 1930

Mace & Crown

Providing Student News to Old Dominion University Since 1930

Mace & Crown

ODU Boasts a ‘Higher’ Ranking, Fails to Meet Expectations

ODU, in a press release, touted its 2024 U.S. News & World Report Ranking, despite placing below the center of the bell curve. Credit to Old Dominion Photo Department.

In a press release, Old Dominion University announced that “for the sixth straight year [it was] one of the top institutions in the U.S. News & World Report Rankings,” despite ranking below 63% of other national universities. 


On Sept. 18, U.S. News & World Report released its national university rankings and saw ODU crest slightly above last year’s showing. In 2024, ODU rose from #299 to #280 and grew from #156 to #151 in the national and public school rankings, respectively. 


The term “top institution,” according to ODU officials, refers to those national universities that received an “individual ranking”—a second, unranked tier of universities is listed only in alphabetical order on the website. The term is not used on the U.S. News & World Report website to refer to these specific types of colleges. 


2024 marks a year that the Monarchs have dropped below their historical ranking; notably in 2022, it had a public school position of #132. Two years ago, however, U.S. News & World Report included only 147 public universities in its rankings, whereas 209 were included for 2024. This year, the school ranks in the top 71% of its peers in comparison to 89% in 2022.


University Provost, Austin Agho, Ph.D, said, “ODU’s improvement in the U.S. News & World Report rankings reinforces our standing as a university on the rise. In addition, they reflect that ODU is a place for students from all backgrounds to succeed.” 


U.S. News ran into controversy this year for weighing statistics such as the advancement of “social mobility” more heavily. These decisions left many previous favorites like the University of Chicago and Vanderbilt University out of their ‘forever homes’ in the top 10 and top 15. 


In a first for the rankings magazine, Pell Grant recipients and first-generation graduates were included in the criteria, dropping ODU 58 positions this year from its previous social mobility ranking at #140. ODU said that it “remained a top performer” in the criteria.


“This enhanced level of deserving recognition would not be possible without our world-class faculty, as well as our hard-working staff, who devote their time and talent to our incredible students,” said University President, Brian O. Hemphill, Ph.D.


It’s hard to determine how ODU’s recent expansion efforts, including an EVMS merger, a new School of Maritime & Supply Chain Management, and a College of Nursing, among other projects, will affect the University’s rankings in the years to come. 


Old Dominion remains the most affordable doctoral institution in the state but – for now – seems to be stuck in a quicksand of disappointment. 


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About the Contributor
Justice Menzel
Justice Menzel, Editor In Chief
Justice is an English Major with a concentration in Journalism in his Sophomore year at ODU. Outside of Mace & Crown, he writes and publishes freelance pieces and has directed a feature-length documentary. Contact him at

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